Foreign buyers increase market share in Q2 with much stronger growth than local demand

Second-homes by the beach in Spain

Foreign demand for property in Spain increased at a much faster rate than local demand in the second quarter, giving foreign buyers an increased market share, show the latest figures from the Spanish land registrars’ association.

There were 24,029 Spanish home sales involving a foreign buyer inscribed in the Spanish land registry in Q2, up 76% compared to the same time last year. In comparison local demand (sales involving Spanish buyers) was up just 13% to 139,880, resulting in an increase in total sales of 19.5% to 163,909. The chart below shows foreign demand each quarter in the dark columns (left axis) and the year-on-year change in green (right axis).

Covid-19 related travel restrictions in place last year that have since largely disappeared partly explain why foreign demand has grown so much in comparison. But that doesn’t explain why foreign demand is now almost the highest it has ever been. It looks like foreign investors have a large and growing appetite for property for sale in Spain.

With foreign demand growing much faster than local demand the market share of foreign buyers rose to 14.7% in Q2, the highest level on record according to the data provided by the registrars as illustrated in the next chart.

Foreign demand by country

The UK was once again the biggest market with 2,348, just ahead of the Germans on 2,179, up 81% and 77% respectively. The chart below shows foreign demand broken down by country with sales in dark columns (left axis) and the year-on-year change in green columns (right axis).

The biggest annualised change came from Poland up 223% to 755 sales, followed by the Netherlands up 162% to 1,153 sales. Polish demand has come out of nowhere in the last few quarters and now makes up 3% of the foreign market. The market share of Ukraine, China, Italy and Switzerland also increased in the quarter, as did the demand of countries the registrars group in the ‘rest of the world’. The share of market leaders – the UK, Germany and France – declined in the quarter as foreign demand for property in Spain became more diversified.

The foreign demand figures from the registrars are based on a sample of the overall market, and therefore not as accurate as the notaries’ half-yearly figures yet to be released for H1 2022. However, with the registrars’ figures in hand it looks like foreign investors are still bullish about Spanish property despite all the big challenges facing the world today.

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